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Entries in PPACA (4)

Tuesday
Sep032013

Understanding Health Care Exchanges Made Easy 

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Thanks to Damion Hendricks, Susan Lidika and our friends at Bankrate.com for this easy to understand infographic about how the new state Health Insurance Marketplaces will operate starting October 1st, 2013.

Under the PPACA, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, every American is required to obtain insurance coverage or face a penality beginning in 2014.

Wednesday
Jun262013

PEOs Help With Health Care Reform and the ACA.

Affordable Care Creates Demand for HR Outsourcing & PEOs

There is no question that  the (PPACA) Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and Healthcare Reform has created the greatest opportunity for the PEO industry in decades. Employee leasing companies, HR outsourcing firms, benefits administration and health insurance enrollment specialists are ramping up to assist small and mid sized business owners and non profit organizations with implementing the Affordable Care Act, and complying with all the new rules and regulations.

Costs - Credits - Penalties - New Reporting For All

The complexities and costs associated with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act can be too overwhelming for the average small and mid-sized companies. Under health care reform, all group health plans are required to provide a minimum level of coverage for medical expenses. This could mean higher premiums for plans providing richer coverage than before. Limited benefit and high deductible health plans will not qualify under the PPACA.

Small business owners, described as 25 employees or less, can qualify for a premium tax credit. The credits are calculated based on the number of employees, average wage base, and the premiums paid by the employer to cover their staff and workers. Low wage paying employers with 15 employees or less, can expect to qualify for a credit of up to 50% of their premiums.

See Tax Credits - Do We Qualify?

The Affordable Care Act requires employers with 50 full-time employees or more (based on 30 hours per week and over) to provide affordable health insurance coverage for their employees or pay a $2,000 penalty per full time employee, excluding the first 30. This is often referred to as “play or pay” by individuals and representatives of the health insurance industry. Businesses and organizations who employ workers at the legal threshold should make certain they are in compliance at all times. The law requires a formula that measures the hours of full and part time workers to determine the total number of full time equivalent workers that an organization employs.

Larger employers must make certain that low wage employees do not contribute more than 9.5% of their earnings for their coverage. In addition to testing for full time workers,there are additional considerations for seasonal and short term workers. This can making testing especially complicated for construction, farming, health care, hotels and restaurants, landscaping, maintenance, schools, and the staffing industry. Under the PPACA, the IRS has instituted new regulations for reporting employer paid contributions for health insurance benefits that affects companies of all sizes.

PEOs - Health Reform’s Best Kept Secret

Employee leasing, personnel management, and Professional Employer Organizations are uniquely qualified to provide the solution. PEO’s provide companies with a comprehensive integrated solution that entails the administration and processing of payroll, they calculate and submit payroll taxes accurately and on time, and submit all payroll reports with the required information to your local, state and federal agencies making certain that your organization is in full compliance.

     “The PEO Industry is in the best position to tackle all the complexities of administering and complying with the Affordable Care Act and Health Care Reform.”

“The trouble is that I don’t hear enough employee leasing companies and professional employer organizations telling the business community exactly what it is that PEOs do, how we can relieve them of problems of dealing with health care reform, and help them stay focused on running their business.”

Rod Diekema - PEO Network

Some larger professional employers offer a choice of health insurance plans that have been tested to assure compliance with the PPACA. Many PEO’s can assist larger companies with testing for determining full time equivalents and contribution strategies to attain “safe harbor” status to avoid facing a $3,000 contribution penalty, should an employee obtain coverage in the public exchange instead of opting for the company’s group health plan. 

Inspirity - Getting The Message Out

 

     “Health care reform has generated over 15,000 pages of regulations filled with increased complexities, compliance and cost for your business. You can spend the time and money to figure it out, or you can  …..”

Paul Sarvardi - CEO Inspirity

Health Care Reform Video

Complying with health care reform will affect every employer in some way. Depending on the size and structure of an organization’s workforce, the remedies and requirements may be unique to your organization, even in the same industry. This is why the administrative capabilities, benefits expertise, human resource information technology, and payroll systems of HR Outsourcing and Professional Employer Organizations can be invaluable today, and in the future.

Friday
Nov092012

Health Care Reform - The New Reality for PEOs

The End of Denial for Employee Leasing and PEO Companies?

NAPEO, The National Association for Professional Employer Organizations has published on their website napeo.org an announcement entitled;

PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYER ORGANIZATIONS CONGRATULATE PRESIDENT OBAMA ON REELECTION, LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING WITH ADMINISTRATION ON HEALTHCARE.

I had to clean my glasses. This is an industry where many of it’s owners and executives, (over 98% of all employee leasing companies and PEOs are privately held) have fought health care reform every step of the way. Large contributions were made to The National Federation of Independent Business, The Chamber of Commerce, (click on this link to see the NFIB position) and a host of Republican PACs and lobbyists. We reported on their attitudes and views about Health Care Reform and the PPACA in our earlier blog post Want to Repeal Health Insurance Reform, Not Likely!!!.

NAPEO President and CEO Pat Cleary is quoted as saying “PEOs are already the go-to source for small businesses looking for help in preparing for and complying with the healthcare benefits changes brought on by reform, so we feel we have an important role to play as the implementation of the ACA proceeds” and offered its industry’s expertise as the Obama administration moves forward with implement the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Only time will tell if NAPEO, and the industry as a whole embraces Health Care Reform or not. My opinion is that the PPACA is one more reason small business owners should consider the services of proactive, qualified and responsible employee leasing companies and professional employer organizations.

Monday
Jul232012

Health Care Reform - Is Your Company Ready?

The waiting is finally over, and the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that the individual mandate and the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act is legal under the constitution.

This ruling came as a big suprise to many. Despite an early warning in our blog entitled “Want to Repeal Health Insurance Reform … Not Likely”. The majority of employee leasing companies, professional employer organizations, and small and midsized employers are just starting to learn all the aspects of the law, and understand how it pertains to their particular situation.

Kathyrn Mayer, a staff writer for BenefitsPro, www.benefitspro.com has written an excellent article to guide you through some of the changes. She quotes employee benefits specialist, Tony Tilelli, who works with the Sihle Insurance Group.

• Be aware that states currently making no attempt to implement the state exchange will get a plan administered by the federal government.

• Businesses with 50 or more employees cannot fall into the trap of thinking that on Dec. 31, 2013, they can just reduce their employee roster to 49 FTE (full time equivalent). The IRS will be watching.

• Review your health plan documents. You should have a binder containing all of the information you need to legally administer your health benefits plan, and you should thoroughly review that data to guide you in the steps you now need to take.

• Be ready for health plan audits. They will become more popular under the new law.

• Beginning in 2013, depending on the size of your group, you will be required to report the value of your employee’s health plan premium on their W2s.

• You must have your benefits summaries in all of the languages spoken by your employees. This means that if you have employees whose first language is not English, you need to provide a benefit summary in their primary language.

• Be careful of what is called work force realignment. In the past, employers have attempted to skirt compliance by reducing the hours of some illness-prone employees to part-time status. Downsizing to avoid providing benefits is a violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

• Review the cost of your health plan. Make sure you have a health plan that does not cost your employee more than 9.5 percent of his or her income.

This is only a small portion of what to expect to come from health care insurance reform. Stay tuned for more information in the weeks to follow. As always, your comments are welcome.